Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, gave a ringing endorsement to the 410-seat Boeing 777X, with an order for 150.
Etihad Airways ordered 25, Qatar Airways 50 and Lufthansa 34.
The launch is the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value. The 259 orders are worth $95 billion at list prices.
“We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”
Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the aircraft will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial aircraft.
The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world claims Boeing. The aircraft will seat 350 passengers and offer a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km).
Emirates President Tim Clark is the driving – and demanding – force behind the 777X a plane he describes as “an absolute peach.”
“Every [long haul] airline will want to buy this plane,” Mr Clark told AirlineRatings.com.
Key to the enthusiasm is the aircraft’s incredible economics, being 20 per cent more efficient per seat than the current industry benchmark the 777-300ER.
Those economics will enable airlines to make significant cuts to airfares making the 777X a game changer.
The 777X combines the best features of the current 777, with a longer fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.
It also features 20 per cent larger windows and lower pressurization altitude to reduce jet lag.
“This machine will do Sydney to Rome or Perth to London [with a full payload],” Clark said in an earlier interview.
“There will not be a city on the planet — aside from the mid-Pacific — we can’t reach,” Clark said.
“This (777X) will be poetry in motion . . . it will have enormous versatility.”
Other airlines that have expressed strong interest are Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air France and leasing companies.
Emirates is considering bars and standing areas for the 777X series.
The 777X is expected to enter service in 2020.
And the secret to the plane’s extraordinary economy is the General Electric GE9X – the largest engine ever built.
It will be 3.35m in diameter and produce 102,000lbs of thrust or 160,000hp.
To see an interactive presentation and video do here: http://www.newairplane.com/777X/